Looking Ahead


2012 is nearly in the history books and I can say, goodbye. I think that this past year has been the most challenging year for me personally, great in many ways, and disappointing in others. Things I planned to do remain to do because of time, mainly. In ways, I feel that I have been able to have an effect on some in a positive way, in others I have more than likely disappointed them…there’s just not enough time. People can be gracious, thank God. If they have a hurt feeling as a result of my lack of attention toward them, I apologize sincerely.

The Plan
2013 looks like a carbon copy of 2012 from a natural standpoint. But I don’t care to view the “natural standpoint” as normal for me personally. I want to attain a higher quality of service to those in recovery from addictions, spend more time with my wife, my aging parents, the children and grandchildren, writing, promoting my book through speaking engagements, and keeping spiritually fit. This is a tall order when you add 40+ hours per week on the job that is shift work. None of what I am saying is an excuse if I do not accomplish these things. I know whoever is reading this probably are thinking about their busy life, and how they can self-improve as well.

How is this possible?
The fact is, this is not an attainable goal. Too much on the plate can cause one to overeat. Overeating makes one lethargic and seeing how much they need to choke down. Less will be accomplished. My head says, I can do it, my family needs me, there are people to help…for crying out loud, “Lord how do I do all of this?” He is silent. He knows the exact answer to this dilemma.

“Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of his father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters-yes, even one’s own self!-can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27 MSG

This statement by Jesus cause many to think the cost is too great to get serious about following him too closely. God wants us to take care of what he has entrusted us with, be a good steward, they think. This gives us the excuse we need to not do his will because we are busy doing his will. A bigger dilemma. Most of us have an issue with this passage, because we don’t understand what Jesus is saying. His statement here is the answer we are looking for.

Willingness, Attitude, Surrender
He is saying this: You just be willing, surrender trying to hang on to the controls, and please change your hopeless attitude. Those things that overwhelm you, impossible lists of things to do, and trying to please everyone, blinds you to the most important thing you need to pay attention to…time with me. I have to respond to him…yes you are absolutely right. All of the insane attempts to serve the world of problems of others and my own, must be put to death in my mind, surrendered. I have to be willing to ignore the important things in my head, change my attitude completely about being “there” for everyone. I need to only be “there” for One…Christ Jesus. My long list of improvements, my concerns about 2013, must come second to Him. So I die daily to my ambitions, to know Him in the power of His resurrection, and in the fellowship of His sufferings…not my sufferings.

The funny thing is this: Those things placed at his feet get accomplished with less effort on my part. He finds the way to their fulfillment when you and I place our focus on Him. So spending more time in communion with Him is the goal for the upcoming year, at least for me.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!